Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones (Reread)

Book Review


Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Charley Davidson #8

Released: 5/19/15 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 293 Price: $25.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library



Book Synopsis:

With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there, Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.

Charley’s been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn’t know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he’s near, but naturally he swears he’s fine.

While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life…. 

My Review:

I did not enjoy this book as much the second time I read it as I did the first.  I’m not going to change my star rating but if I were to give it a reread rating it would come in at three stars I think.

Why is that you might ask?  Mainly because while there were some earth-shattering plot revelations I now know them and some of the shine has worn off of the story.  Much of the plot of this book revolves around Charley’s pregnancy and the arrival of Beep and quite frankly I’m just not that into kids.

I’m still glad I reread it as it was nice to have a refresher for all that went down, though.  It was fun to witness Cookie and Uncle Bob’s wedding and the end where we have a chapter in Reyes’s p.o.v. was awesome!  This time I was a little less satisfied with what went down with the step-mother and wished she could have received a bit more payback.

If I reread the series again someday I don’t think I will skip this book as there is so much that was revealed but it probably won’t ever be a favorite in the series.  A bonus with the audiobook was an author interview at the end with the narrator.  I was lucky enough to have my turn pop up for book nine so I don’t have to wait to continue on.  Did notice that the release date was pushed back for the last book until 2019.  Kind of disappointing but should give me plenty of time to work through the entire series before then.

My Rating: 5 Stars (originally)


Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones (Reread)

Book Review


Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Charley Davidson #7

Released: 10/21/14 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 336 Price: $25.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.



Book Synopsis:

Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out the jugular of Charley Davidson and serve her lifeless, mangled body to Satan for dinner. So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and the more she retraces his last steps, the more she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fiancé who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life.

A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.

My Review:

Over the weekend my turn at book seven in the Charley Davidson series came up at the library.  Well, book eight became available first but I was lucky to get this one a couple of hours later too.  So I promptly set aside my current book read and started this one so I could get it returned for the next in line.  Also, I had a knitting project I wanted to work on.

This story picks up after the bombshell revelation of Charley’s pregnancy and it dominated much of the book but didn’t smother us in baby-related plot.  I think that is what happens in the next book but I’m not sure.  I continue to love the narrator and I am finally getting used to her interpretation of Reyes’s voice.  His name still throws me for a loop because I still want to pronounce it differently.  Reyes that rhymes with keys, not an a sound and rhyming with days.  Not a biggie though.

I had also forgotten how devastating the ending of this book was.  To lose such an important person in her life.  Wow.  There was one plot line that I had forgotten about but that might be because it seemed to have little to do with the plot besides justifying the title.

Looking forward to the next book and listening to them all up to book 12 in preparation for the end of the series.  I sure hope Ms. Jones starts something new because I will so miss her writing style if she doesn’t.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

 March 20: Books On My Spring TBR

Yes, some of these books have been on my upcoming-season TBR list before… Maybe this is their time, maybe not, but these are the books I hope to get around to reading over the next few months.  A few upcoming releases did make the list though.

Ten books that I might read this spring

  1. The Big Alpha in Town  This is a review book St. Martin’s Press offered me.  Three short shifter stores looked interesting so I accepted.
  2. Head On (Lock In, #2)  This is an ARC that I was turned down for but added it to the buy list at my library and have first shot at reading it once it comes in.
  3. Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5; Mercy Thompson World - Complete, #15)  This book I plan on picking up over the weekend.  It is also another ARC I was turned down for.  That’s alright I usually end up reading them eventually…
  4. Blood Fury (Black Dagger Legacy, #3)  You’ve seen this before and yes I’ve not read it yet… Hopefully soon.
  5. Dragonsworn (Dark-Hunter, #28)  I’ve not read this one yet either.  This one might not make the cut this season either.  Still nervous to pick up another one of her titles, afraid I’m going to be disappointed.
  6. The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15)  This one I actually started last week!  Was hesitant to try this one too, but so far it has been alright.
  7. Travelling Eye (Tiger's Eye Mysteries, #1.5)  This is book 1.5 of a new-to-me shifter series that I tried recently.  I was approved for an arc and enjoyed it so much decided to buy the next two books which were really reasonable at B&N.
  8. Six Wakes  This has been sitting on my coffee table ever since it came in the mail.  Needed to order a second book to get free shipping last fall.
  9. The Thief (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #16)  This is an upcoming release and if I can get through book #6 and Book #4 I might pick this one up and be up-to-date.
  10. Blade of Darkness (Immortal Guardians, #7)  I did start this book but got distracted and decided to put it aside and start over.  Maybe I will sometime this spring.

Those are the titles I’m considering reading this spring.  What books are on your spring TBR?

Monday Morning Check-In: Waiting on Spring

Good Monday morning everyone.  Coming off a truly good weekend with the hubby.  Saturday was a little tough as we were both frustrated with some light snow but we headed out anyway and did our weekly shopping.  Sunday’s weather was much nicer and we spent much of the day outside working on projects.  Hubby got a new toy drone to play with and I got some yard work done.  In the evening we curled up on the couch to watch Star Trek.  It was such a nice day and just what we both needed to relax.  I did manage to get some reading done but not as much as I might have liked but that’s okay.

This week I have the next two audiobooks in the Charley Davidson series so I plan to work on a set of knit gloves and listen to them.  I am also working on the spin-off Blackdagger Brotherhood’s latest release and I bought the novella in the main series that I will start after finishing that.  After I am all caught up in that world I might move onto Kenyon and catch up in her series.

Spring starts tomorrow and I am so looking forward to warmer weather.  Spring is my favorite time of year and hopefully, we get more than two weeks of it.   I need to make plans for the birds and the garden too.  Potatoes and onions could go in the ground soon but first, we need to clean it up from last year.  I left it as is so the birds could pick through the leftover seeds over the winter.

Have a great weekend everyone and happy reading!

The Chosen by J.R. Ward

Book Review


The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #15

Released: 4/4/17 by Ballantine Books

Pages: 544 Price:$28.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book.



Book Synopsis:

Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.

Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.

As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone. 

My Review:

I put of this book for almost an entire year because I was afraid I wouldn’t like it.  I’ve never been a big fan of Layla and Xcor’s plotline and To have most of an entire book revolving around their HEA…  Not so sure I want to suffer through it.  What a dumbass I was because I absolutely loved this book!

From the first chapter I was hooked as I watched Ms. Ward almost destroy the brotherhood only to build them back up again stronger than before.  It was like a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from.  While I was thoroughly enjoying the story I have to say some of the characters that I normally loved ticked me off to no end.  Quinn spent much of the book being an unhinged asshole, Thor as well.  V still had issues he needed to work out at the end and I have a feeling he will continue to be the focus of sub-plots in future books.

What did surprise me was that my opinion of Xhor and Layla did a complete 180 and I grew to respect them both.  Layla found a backbone and grew immensely in this book and we learn so much about Xhor that you would have to be a complete ass to not feel for him.  We also got to see plenty of Wrath and my favorite Lassiter who has a shiny new role to play in this world so I am excited at the prospect of seeing more of him in future books.

Despite my fears this was a solid addition to the Blackdagger Brotherhood series and there wasn’t one plot thread that I didn’t enjoy.  I found myself not wanting to put down the book and read into the wee hours of the morning.  Something that I’ve not done in a long time.  Going to start Blood Fury next and I’m looking forward to The Theif which releases next month!

My Rating: 5 Stars

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Book Review


The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #3)Book Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Paranormal

Book Series: The Queen of the Tearling #3

Released: 11/29/16 by Harper

Pages:  496 Price: $25.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library



Book Synopsis:

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.

And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies – chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.

To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable – naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.

So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea – and the Tearling itself – will be revealed…

My Review:

Wow, that was quite the ending!  It was well worth the wait for my turn to find out what happened.  If you’ve been frustrated with so many of the looming questions left unanswered in the first two books I am pleased to report that most if not all of them were answered in the final book in this trilogy. Like others have mentioned the ending was a bit abrupt but it didn’t really disappoint or frustrate me I guess.  Oh sure, I want to know more about Kelsea’s life afterward but I’m fine filling in my own details of what I imagine life has in store for her.

This book worked so well for me that it almost lifts up my opinion of earlier books.  Now that I KNOW what all happened it all makes so much more sense.  This story has so much to offer that I almost want to listen to it all over again to truly grasp the morality lessons it delivered.  Like the story, itself states works of fiction teach us empathy and hold up a mirror to our society and allow us to take a good hard look at ourselves.

The themes that I particularly enjoyed in this trilogy are the examples of extremism and fanaticism.  Also of what happens when the church takes over a society.  I almost wish that the author hadn’t solved these problems with magic but it is what it is.  Then there is the whole plot of a utopian society gone wrong that was a pure delight to explore.  The story shows us why you simply can’t run away from problems for they will simply follow you.  Change is a long and hard road with no easy answers to complex issues and can not be had without great sacrifice.

There were a few surprises near the end and a couple of things I would have done differently but overall I was so satisfied when I finished this story that I can’t even fault the story over them.  The last book ended up being my favorite which doesn’t often happen in trilogies.  Sorry that the trilogy is finished but happy that I took the time for it.

My Rating: 5 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Well that’s surprising…

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

 March 13: Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way)

For this week’s list, I’m not going to stick to either all good or all bad surprises.  I’m just going to select ten books that surprised me in some way and then tell you why.

Ten books that surprised me.

  1. Bottomland This was the All Iowa Reads book selection for 2017 and it is on the list because I’m actually surprised that I liked it.  Usually, I hate whatever book they pick for Iowans to read.  But this one was interesting, had a mystery, and wasn’t bogged down trying to be smarter than its readers.
  2. How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1) I had this book on my TBR list forever before reading it in 2016.  It is on this week’s list because while I did enjoy it I’m surprised I haven’t read the next books yet and have little to no interest in doing so.  Maybe I didn’t care for it as much as I thought…
  3. The Martian  This book is on the list because it surprised me by how freaking awesome it is!  I picked it up to review shortly before I got into my current science fiction kick so maybe I can attribute some of my more recent reads to this book.
  4. Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real What surprised me about this book is how relatable it was for me.  I’m not a parent, never wanted to be a parent yet I found this book HILARIOUS.  Giggled my whole way through it.
  5. Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography I picked this title up for review when it was the only title that looked remotely interesting.  Mainly for its choose your own adventure format.  But I ended up reading it cover to cover (like a normal book) and loved reading about NPH’s life.
  6. The Diary of Adam and Eve what surprised me about this classic is that I enjoyed it.  I usually don’t.  It inspired me at the time to try other Twain works but I have yet to do so.  Still, I loved this story.
  7. The Goldfinch Another case of surprised I enjoyed it.  I was doing some book challenge where I needed to read a Pulitzer winner.
  8. The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13)  Fully expected to hate this one but ended up loving it as well.  It wiped the floor with my emotions.
  9. Instinct (Chronicles of Nick, #6) My least favorite book by my favorite author.  I truly did not like this story.
  10. Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia  This book I just found shocking.  To learn of what goes on in some of the families in Saudi Arabia blew my mind at the time.


Another week another list.  Feel free to share links to your surprising lists in the comments!

Monday Morning Check-in: Blogging for Books

Good Monday morning everyone.  I have a confession.  I’m typing this up on Saturday, scandalous I know.  I had some time to fill and a topic to discuss so I decided to schedule this post.

So have you heard?  Blogging for Books is closing.  I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.  I did write a Bookish Thoughts post here, about being done with the program as they never had books I was interested in.  I lied, or rather I couldn’t give up the temptation of being offered a physical book to review that I could keep.  Don’t get me wrong I love the digital arcs but it is nice to have a book I can put on my shelf when I’m done.  Especially if it is one I loved.  For instance, I received my copy of The Martian through Blogging For Books and I’ve read it like three times now.  So I’m sad the program is closing down but not surprised.

I imagine they felt the cost of sending the books was not worth the reviews they were getting.  After all, they are still offering digital arcs through Net Galley and their (crappy) First to Read program.  I totally don’t blame them but I have to say if perhaps you offered books that people were excited about then perhaps the quality of reviews would have been better.  I only participated in the program for three or four years but besides The Martian, I never found anything truly exciting in their offerings.  It always felt like books they were second or third tier titles.  Maybe I just wasn’t a popular enough blogger to be offered better titles though.  I also didn’t care for the hoops they made up jump through.  Proving our influence on social media through a Klout rating.  Maybe another reason the program failed.

I’m still active on Net Galley but have noticed that many of the publishers are not listing their big upcoming release titles for request anymore.  I have been offered widgets through email from a couple of publishers but when I go to search the title I can’t find where people can put in a request.  So perhaps all the publishers are simply becoming more exclusive in who they offer their books to.  Or maybe not.

Others have mentioned to me it is nice to not have an arc to review as then there aren’t 40 different blogs reviewing the same book.  I agree but I still find it fun to score an arc by an author I’m a huge fan of.

I know I’ve not been a blogger for all that long but I feel like the environment is changing.  I can only control this little corner of the internet however and no matter what happens as long as I am reading I will be posting my reviews.  You might have to deal with older titles but that isn’t such an awful thing.  After all, it might be a great way to find some great book that perhaps you missed when it first came out.

So what are your thoughts about Blogging for Books closing?  Will you miss them or have you already written them off ages ago?

Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Book Review


Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1)Book Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy,

Book Series: Darklight #1

Released: 10/2/2011 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 274 Price: $9.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed a copy of this audiobook from my library.

Book Synopsis:

Sophomore Year Was Never Supposed to be This Complicated
Ten years ago, Lorelei McAlister’s parents disappeared without a trace, and she is finally beginning to accept the fact that they’re never coming back. Life must go on. She’s got her grandparents and the support of her best friends, and high school is not quite as painful as she thought it would be.
But This is What Happens When You Fall for the Angel of Death.
Until the day the school’s designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, tough, sexy Jared Kovach – comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other, and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.
Life as She Knows it is About to Change Forever.
What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can’t have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Death and the Girl Next Door proves Darynda Jones is a force to be reckoned with.

My Review:

I believe I have mentioned a time or two before how I am long over YA books.  I am, however, a huge fan of Darynda Jones.  So when I stumbled across her YA series at my public library I decided to give it a shot.  This trilogy is also narrated by the same actor that narrates her Charley Davidson series so that was another plus.  I needed to wait my turn but over the weekend the first book became available.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started the book as I knew little about the trilogy.  I was hoping for Ms. Jones’s trademark humor and character comradery.  The cover looked to offer a love triangle as well.  If you are a fan of her adult series I believe you will probably like this one, as well, as they are pretty similar, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  The teenage drama is pretty light and the characters don’t actually spend a ton of time in school.  I did make an observation though that the adults in the story seem to let the teens off the hook pretty easily and are far more gullible than must adults would normally be, in my opinion.  The romance and language is very clean so don’t hesitate to let younger readers pick this series up.

The main thing I noticed about this book is how very similar it is to her adult series.  I believe one of the names is the same and the supernatural elements are almost the same as well.    I was surprised to see that this was actually published after the first Charley Davidson series because it feels like a predecessor to that series.  Not a prequel but more like a first attempt, if you know what I mean.  For example, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s first league book Born in Ice was actually written before her first Dark Hunter books and some of the characters in that book feel like first drafts to some of her later characters in the second series.

Regardless of how Death and the Girl Next Door came to be, I liked it.  Not as much as her other series but enough to put book number two on hold.  I’m not quite sure if I want to continue for this world’s potential or to see how it compares to the second series.  I almost wish it was a spin-off from the Charley Davidson series.  I think a YA book about a teenage Charley and Reyes could be a lot of fun or a series about their daughter’s life in the future.

Anyway, again it was a good book and I’m glad I tried it.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Quote Me

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

 March 6: Favorite Book Quotes


I know that we have done quotes before on a Top Ten Tuesday so this week I’m going to put a spin on the list.  I’m going to pick only quotes from one author.

Ten Darynda Jones Quotes

  1. “Never knock on death’s door. Ring the doorbell then run. He totally hates that.
    – T-shirt”
  2. “That took balls.”
    “Please,” I said with a snort, “that took ovaries. Of which I have two.”
  3. “Genius has its limitations.
    Insanity…not so much” -Bumper Sticker”
  4. “I may not look like much, but I’m an expert at pretending to be a ninja.”
  6. “How would you like your eggs?”
    I tried. I really did. But I glanced at his crotch and it came out anyway. “Fertilized?”
  9. “Insanity does NOT run in my family. It strolls through, takes its time, and gets to know everyone personally. —T-SHIRT”
  10. “Mistakes were made.
    Others were blamed.”

Many of those were the fun little quotes that she puts at the beginning of chapters.  Hope you enjoyed them and if you haven’t already, give her Charley Davidson series a try!